Saturday, March 31, 2007

If you can't fix it, spin it.

Hey, what do you know, W. finally found the time to drive the couple of miles over to Walter Reed to see what the Democrats are making such a fuss about. Even though W. didn't get a chance look around the now notorious Building 18 he did talk to some of the guys who were housed there and he says he's "disturbed by their accounts." (I bet.) W. vowed that, "We're not going to be satisfied until everyone gets the kind of care that their folks and families expect." [What is it with him saying "we" all the time when he's talking about himself? Next thing you know he'll be parading around in purple robes and appointing horses to be senators. ]

Didn't W say something similar about New Orleans and how's that going, by the way? Anyway, W is shocked, shocked about what has happened at Walter Reed and he's not going to rest until the problems are fixed. First things first, though, he's just hired a PR firm.

PR Week USA reports:

"The Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), a provider of operational support to several Department of Defense agencies, has hired a PR agency on behalf of the President's Commission on Care for Americas' Returning Wounded Warriors in the aftermath of the controversy that has erupted over conditions at Walter Reed hospital. According to the Federal Business Opportunity database, the government has awarded LMW Strategies, based in Bethesda, MD, a no-bid contract through August 1 of this year."

Hey what do you know, another no bid contract. And how much is the American taxpayer getting soaked for this time, to be lied to by their own government? Sourcewatch says "O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that the contract was worth $100,000."

Just what our wounded vets need at Walter Reed another freakin' contractor. Wasn't outsourcing,the Republican holy grail, one of the problems at WR? MSNBC reported a while back that:

A contract "went to a company --International American Products, or IAP -- that played a major role in the ice fiasco during Hurricane Katrina, when trucks roamed the country, delivering little and running up costs to taxpayers. 'They didn't seem to be doing a very good job even delivering the ice, and from what we now see, they didn't do a very good job at Walter Reed, either,' says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee."

Congress is trying to pass a bill to get things rolling with this situation of lousy care for our soldiers and vet but the White House says 'not so fast. AP reported:

"The White House, in a statement, said that while those goals were commendable, the legislation is premature. It suggested that Congress wait for a report from a presidential commission and a task force on the war-wounded created after the exposure of poor outpatient living conditions and treatment at Walter Reed. Those findings are expected by the end of July." [The wounded can wait]

Here the good part:

"The White House also objected to a provision imposing a one-year moratorium on a program letting private companies compete with public agencies for military hospital work contracts. The administration said the program, criticized for contributing to substandard conditions and inadequate non-medical staffing at Walter Reed, is generating billions in savings."

How much did that PR contract cost again?


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